Somewhere along the path to all media, all the time, the business of celebrities because the business of us all. We’re not really supposed to gossip about our relatives or neighbors or friends (we do, obviously. But we’re not supposed to). Yet when it comes to celebrity, all is fair game.
That’s why TMZ is surely snagging millions of page hits, RE: their revelations about Tiger Woods’ accident. Because we love this sâ€¢â€¢â€¢. We eat it up. We crave it, and we want more, more, more.
Why? Because life is fairly dull. Truly, it is. There are highs. Huge highs. But mostly, we just wanna get through the days without falling apart. Hence, when we can delve into the failings of someone else … someone supposedly living The Dream, well, we’re all over it. Car accident? Great! Infidelity? Even better! We love reading about Tiger and Brad and Angelina and Jen and the shortcomings of every other famous person because they make us feel good about ourselves. They give us worth; they show that, hey, our lives may suck, but so do theirs.
I’m a journalist, and I’ve fallen into this trap. But I hate it.
I really hate it.
I like to think that, as a biographer, I’m different. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s mere moral justification. But when I’m working on a book, it’s not about the gothcya! moments. I like digging into characters; seeing how people formed; what made them who they became.
But TMZ-type stuff? No thanks.